Group Meals

To be reimbursed for a group meal, please complete the Group Meal form (please remember to include all attendees and attach an itemized receipt).

Per diem

While the University allows one to receive reimbursement for group meals, it does not permit reimbursement at a rate higher than the individual daily meal allowance (or per diem). Thus, each person attending a group meal cannot exceed this individual limit.

Note, this is a daily limit, so if you attend more than one meal per day, the total meals cannot exceed the daily limit. As a general rule, the percentage allocated toward each meal is 20 percent for breakfast, 30 percent for lunch, and 50 percent for dinner. Anything in excess of the daily limit will be considered an out-of-pocket expense.

As a reminder:

  • Itemized receipts are required when requesting reimbursement.
  • Gratuity should be no more than 20 percent (anything more will be considered an out-of-pocket expense).

  • Alcoholic beverages are not an allowable reimbursement expense for University employees.

Charging group meals to a research project

In reviewing group meal expenses, it is the University’s practice to approve such expenses charged to research on occasions when the research meeting is continued through lunch/dinner and food is ordered in - not to interrupt the research taking place. Our interpretation is that when one leaves campus - whether walking or driving - from a project standpoint, it now turns from a continuation of a project to a gray area that may no longer be a requirement of the project.

If you feel you have a strong case to charge a group meal to a research project, please complete the Cost Accounting Exception Request form. This should be included in the backup to the ERS reports with the original forwarded to the Finance Office (via Karen Cox) for consideration.

If it is determined that the meal expense was not a requirement of the project, then the Finance Office will ask for an alternate source of funds (general or miscellaneous). Questionable group meals should be pre-approved because the department may be responsible.

Please print, complete, and return forms to Karen Cox in 302 Walker Building. If she is not available, return forms to Marnie Deibler in 302C Walker Building.